Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day August 2015: These Are The Times That Try Gardeners' Souls!

Pink Skullcap, Scuttellaria suffrutescens, considered one of the most heat
& drought tolerant natives for Texas gardens.  That's how bad it is.
I promised Carol aka Indygardener aka Indy of May Dreams Gardens, the GBBD instigator, that I would post SOMETHING for this month's Bloom Day.  There's precious little out there to choose from, at least in the back gardens which is as far as I can venture this evening.  The Head Gardener and I had a little nipping and tucking done at the end of July and have been on orders to restrict our activity ever since.  Unfortunately for us, our inability to get outside comes during a worse spell of heat and drought than we saw in 2011. Hand watering was all that saved the back garden that year since there's no irrigation system set up for those beds. This year, we can only watch in horror as plant after plant - most of them heat and drought tolerant - wilt, wither and die.  By the time we get our doctor's clearance to get back out there and work, we're expecting much of that work will involve pulling up dead plants amidst much wailing and gnashing of teeth.



The white plumbago has probably been the best performer in the back garden throughout July and this first half of August. It's had no supplemental water that entire time. 



Fireworks gomphrena has absolutely blown me away with its ability to survive without moisture in 100+ degree temperatures.  Once or twice it's gotten a bit droopy in the afternoon but by the next morning, it returns to its usual perky self.  That's ONE plant. 



This is one of a few Serenity mix hybrid verbenas that has managed to keep going.  



And this is, of all things, a rain lily.  We did get a brief intense storm on Wednesday evening and this brave little plant responded as nature intended! 

While we're stuck inside, the HG and I are doing a lot of thinking about what kind of changes we'll make to the gardens when cooler weather is here and we've seen the extent of the summer damage.  The only thing we're sure of is that we've got to simplify ... and we are unanimous in that!




11 comments:

Leslie Kuss said...

I am glad you found a few blooms to comfort you. I hope you are pleasantly surprised and find more survivors in the next few weeks.

Carol said...

What a nice surprise to see your bloom day post. I love the little rain lily. We grow those as tender bulbs here.

Kathy said...

I'm thinking the things that are doing well for you would have rotted in our frequent rains coupled with clay soil and cool temps. I haven't yet had a dahlia bloom or a hardy hibiscus. They are waiting for it to get hot!

VP said...

What a way to trial drought tolerance! I hope you and the Head Gardener are recovering well and will be out in your Corner soon xxxx

Rock rose said...

I share your pain and frustration at how the summer has progressed in Texas. I am seeing the same thing. Plants that are supposed to stand this heat and finally succumbing. I can only look at it as a chance for a good clean out. The nurseries will be the big benefactor of all this although I wonder how they are doing in August. How you have a full recovery from your surgeries.

Alison said...

Sorry to hear about your surgery. We've had a long, hot, dry summer here too, but at least I've been able to drag the sprinkler around. The bane of my gardening this summer has been a band of raccoons. I'm also wracking my brains to think of changes I can make to be both more drought-tolerant and more raccoon-resistant. Happy GBBD!

Jean Campbell said...

Mid-summer can be as desolate as mid-winter. Happy Bloom Day.

Gail said...

I am loving that gomphrena! Of course it would drown here in the winter (as Kathy observed) Take care and soon you will be out there just as the rains return!xoxo

Dee Nash said...

Crazy about the rain lilies. Mine are blooming too, but we had rain. Only a short shower, but still. I'm sorry about all of your plants. I know how frustrating that is. Hang in there. You can always replant some of them later when you're up to snuff. ~~Dee

Rose said...

Oh my, I am so sorry, Cindy! It's been hot and dry here, too, but nothing like what you're experiencing. You've got to love plants like the plumbago and gomphrena--maybe you can replace all those thirsty plants next year with more of these. Hope you're back on your feet soon and can get out to your garden again.

Misti said...

It's been rough! After the deluge this spring I wasn't expecting such a hard summer. Autumn is coming at least!